When it comes to the ever-intrusive Nanny State, we have some good news for a change.
In Oshawa, Ont., there was a move afoot by some councillors to – get this – ban tobogganing from most of Oshawa’s hills. How un-Canadian is that.
The move to ban toboggans, sleds, Super Slider Sno-Skates and any other convenience that gets people down a snow-covered hill in a fun fashion was apparently driven by a tobogganing accident that occurred in Ottawa in which a young girl died. That is a tragedy to be sure… but to ban tobogganing outright is surely a knee jerk reaction. Do we ban skating rinks if a child dies ice skating or playing hockey? Do we ban bicycles and skateboards, too, just to be on the safe side? Yeah, let’s have the kids stay at home on the couch playing video games all day. So much for Participaction!
But Durham.com notes that after a “contentious debate” last Monday, Oshawa City Council decided not to ban tobogganing… despite a recommendation from the Community and Operation Services Committee that called for a tobogganing ban on all but two hills. (By the way, does that make sense even if you are a pro-toboggan ban person? If tobogganing is so dangerous, why wouldn’t the activity be banned in ALL of Oshawa’s parks? Weird…)
Hats off to Ward 5 Councillor Brian Nicholson who argued, “there’s no public support to do this [restrict tobogganing to two hills in the city.] Parents have a responsibility for their children and they look after their children well. They don’t need ‘Big Brother’ going around saying, ‘This hill’s OK to go on, this hill’s not.’”
As well, Ward 2 Councillor Tito-Dante Marimpietri remarked: “We’re never going to absolve ourselves 100% of risk and liability.
Such common sense – it’s a shock to the system!
But here’s the thing: it looked like the tobogganing ban seemed like a certainty just a few weeks ago. So, what happened? Well, city councillors were bombarded by Oshawa residents expressing their outrage via emails, phone calls, text messages and social media postings. Suddenly, the idea of a toboggan ban went downhill faster than greased lighting.
Moral of the story: our elected representatives work for us, not the other way around. So if you see some goofy idea that might be enacted into law, then speak up, raise a ruckus, make a line in the sand (or the snow, as the case may be.) As we have witnessed with Oshawa’s ludicrous idea to ban tobogganing, proposed acts of idiocy can be overturned if enough common sense citizens speak up.